Aston Villa Football Club Facts

Aston Villa Football Club Facts

Aston Villa Football Club was founded in March, 1874, by Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price, and William Scattergood who were members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel. Aston Villa is also one of the founding members of the English Premier League.

The club won its first FA Cup in 1887 and were one of the dozen teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, with numerous League titles and FA Cup wins.

In 1897 they moved to Aston Lower or “Villa Park”. In 1936, they were relegated to the second division and Villa’s first trophy for 37 years came in an FA cup victory in 1956-57 season against Manchester United. The team was again relegated two seasons later in 1958-59 though they quickly regained form to become Second Division Champions in 1960 and League Cup champions in 1961.

They were relegated to the Third Division for the first time at the end of the 1969-70 season. They experienced a brief period of success in the 1970s after Ron Saunders was appointed manager in 1973 culminating in a victory over Bayern Munich to win the European cup in 1982.

Aston Villa were relegated again in 1987, and turbulent years following in the next two decades with inconsistent performances and league placings under a string of different managers. Sweeping changes were made to the club in 2000-2007, with Martin O’Neill taking over as manager and American businessman Randy Lerner taking over as chairman.

Villa Park Stadium

Aston Villa’s current home venue is the UEFA 4-star rated stadium Villa Park, where the team has played since 1897.The site was originally used as a Victorian amusement park, and also as a fishpond and kitchen garden belonging to the owner of Aston Hall, Sir Thomas Holte.

Villa Park is the eighth largest stadium in England and has hosted 16 England international football matches. It has also been used as the grounds for 55 FA semi-finals. The current capacity of the stadium is 42,640 split across four stands, which the club hopes to increase by extending the North Stand to 51,000.

Supporters and Rivalries

Aston Villa’s supporters are distributed in a number of domestic supporters’ clubs. The club’s supporters publish fanzines such as Heroes and Villains and The Holy Trinity. Aston Villa’s traditional rivals are West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Coventry City, and Birmingham City.

Birmingham City are Aston Villa’s current arch-rivals, with matches between the two sides referred to as the ‘Second City Derby’. Historically, West Bromwich Albion have been Villa’s greatest rivals.